Losing God

She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.

        Judges 16:20 NASB

How do you lose God? That seems crazy, like losing the Empire State Building. Actually, it is not hard at all. We find a great example in the Old Testament character Samson. If you remember, he was designated as a champion to deliver his people from the oppression of their neighbors, the Philistines. He had great strength as a gift from God, and that gift was symbolized by his uncut hair. But the day came when as the verse above says, he went out not knowing that

God was not with him. He had lost God.

How did it happen? There were three easy steps. First, he catered to his weakness, which in his case was women – enemy women! He went from one Philistine woman to another. Do you know your weakness? Are you guarding against it?

Second, he made no recorded effort to stay close to God, the source of his strength. He clearly took his strength for granted. He had always been strong, and as far as he was concerned, always would be. What about you? Are you spiritually strong now? It is a gift. Are you cultivating your relationship to the Giver?

Third, he allowed his enemy-lover closer and closer to the source of his strength. Here again we see his fundamental error: he did not really believe his strength was a gift. If he had, he never would have allowed Delilah near his hair. But inch by inch, he let her come closer and closer, until finally he was shorn, and God was gone.

This story is not about hair. It is about a relationship with God. Will you guard it with your life? You must, for it is your life. God won’t let go of you easily, but he will let go, if you insist. As in a marriage: persistently neglect it, and one day some other relationship will be more important than it, and the marriage will be gone.

Whatever you do, don’t lose God!

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